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I have chosen this subject for my lecture tonight because I think that most current discussions of politics and politicaltheory take insufficient account of psychology. Economic facts, population statistics, constitutional organization, and soon, are set forth minutely. There is no difficulty in finding out how many South Koreans and how many North Koreans therewere when the Korean War began. If you will look into the right books you will be able to ascertain what was their averageincome per head, and what were the sizes of their respective armies. But if you want to know what sort of person a Korean is,and whether there is any appreciable difference between a North Korean and a South Korean; if you wish to know what theyrespectively want out of life, what are their discontents, what their hopes and what their fears; in a word, what it is that,as they say, ?makes them tick?, you will look through the reference books in vain. And so you cannot tell whether the SouthKoreans are enthusiastic about UNO, or would prefer union with their cousins in the North. Nor can you guess whether they arewilling to forgo land reform for the privilege of voting for some politician they have never heard of. It is neglect of suchquestions by the eminent men who sit in remote capitals, that so frequently causes disappointment. If politics is to becomescientific, and if the event is not to be constantly surprising, it is imperative that our political thinking shouldpenetrate more deeply into the springs of human action. What is the influence of hunger upon slogans? How does theireffectiveness fluctuate with the number of calories in your diet? If one man offers you democracy and another offers you abag of grain, at what stage of starvation will you prefer the grain to the vote? Such questions are far too littleconsidered. However, let us, for the present, forget the Koreans, and consider the human race.

All human activity is prompted by desire. There is a wholly fallacious theory advanced by some earnest moralists to theeffect that it is possible to resist desire in the interests of duty and moral principle. I say this is fallacious, notbecause no man ever acts from a sense of duty, but because duty has no hold on him unless he desires to be dutiful. If youwish to know what men will do, you must know not only, or principally, their material circumstances, but rather the wholesystem of their desires with their relative strengths.

There are some desires which, though very powerful, have not, as a rule, any great political importance. Most men at someperiod of their lives desire to marry, but as a rule they can satisfy this desire without having to take any politicalaction. There are, of course, exceptions; the rape of the Sabine women is a case in point. And the development of northernAustralia is seriously impeded by the fact that the vigorous young men who ought to do the work dislike being wholly deprivedof female society. But such cases are unusual, and in general the interest that men and women take in each other has littleinfluence upon politics.

The desires that are politically important may be divided into a primary and a secondary group. In the primary group come thenecessities of life: food and shelter and clothing. When these things become very scarce, there is no limit to the effortsthat men will make, or to the violence that they will display, in the hope of securing them. It is said by students of theearliest history that, on four separate occasions, drought in Arabia caused the population of that country to overflow intosurrounding regions, with immense effects, political, cultural, and religious. The last of these four occasions was the riseof Islam. The gradual spread of Germanic tribes from southern Russia to England, and thence to San Francisco, had similarmotives. Undoubtedly the desire for food has been, and still is, one of the main causes of great political events.

But man differs from other animals in one very important respect, and that is that he has some desires which are, so tospeak, infinite, which can never be fully gratified, and which would keep him restless even in Paradise. The boa constrictor,when he has had an adequate meal, goes to sleep, and does not wake until he needs another meal. Human beings, for the mostpart, are not like this. When the Arabs, who had been used to living sparingly on a few dates, acquired the riches of theEastern Roman Empire, and dwelt in palaces of almost unbelievable luxury, they did not, on that account, become inactive.Hunger could no longer be a motive, for Greek slaves supplied them with exquisite viands at the slightest nod. But otherdesires kept them active: four in particular, which we can label acquisitiveness, rivalry, vanity, and love of power.

Acquisitiveness - the wish to possess as much as possible of goods, or the title to goods - is a motive which, I suppose, hasits origin in a combination of fear with the desire for necessaries. I once befriended two little girls from Estonia, who hadnarrowly escaped death from starvation in a famine. They lived in my family, and of course had plenty to eat. But they spentall their leisure visiting neighbouring farms and stealing potatoes, which they hoarded. Rockefeller, who in his infancy hadexperienced great poverty, spent his adult life in a similar manner. Similarly the Arab chieftains on their silken Byzantinedivans could not forget the desert, and hoarded riches far beyond any possible physical need. But whatever may be thepsychoanalysis of acquisitiveness, no one can deny that it is one of the great motives - especially among the more powerful,for, as I said before, it is one of the infinite motives. However much you may acquire, you will always wish to acquire more;satiety is a dream which will always elude you.

But acquisitiveness, although it is the mainspring of the capitalist system, is by no means the most powerful of the motivesthat survive the conquest of hunger. Rivalry is a much stronger motive. Over and over again in Mohammedan history, dynastieshave come to grief because the sons of a sultan by different mothers could not agree, and in the resulting civil waruniversal ruin resulted. The same sort of thing happens in modern Europe. When the British Government very unwisely allowedthe Kaiser to be present at a naval review at Spithead, the thought which arose in his mind was not the one which we hadintended. What he thought was, ??I must have a Navy as good as Grandmamma's??. And from this thought have sprung all oursubsequent troubles. The world would be a happier place than it is if acquisitiveness were always stronger than rivalry. Butin fact, a great many men will cheerfully face impoverishment if they can thereby secure complete ruin for their rivals.Hence the present level of taxation.

Vanity is a motive of immense potency. Anyone who has much to do with children knows how they are constantly performing someantic, and saying ??Look at me??. ??Look at me?? is one of the most fundamental desires of the human heart. It can takeinnumerable forms, from buffoonery to the pursuit of posthumous fame. There was a Renaissance Italian princeling who wasasked by the priest on his deathbed if he had anything to repent of. ??Yes??, he said, ??there is one thing. On one occasionI had a visit from the Emperor and the Pope simultaneously. I took them to the top of my tower to see the view, and Ineglected the opportunity to throw them both down, which would have given me immortal fame??. History does not relate whetherthe priest gave him absolution. One of the troubles about vanity is that it grows with what it feeds on. The more you aretalked about, the more you will wish to be talked about. The condemned murderer who is allowed to see the account of histrial in the press is indignant if he finds a newspaper which has reported it inadequately. And the more he finds abouthimself in other newspapers, the more indignant he will be with the one whose reports are meagre. Politicians and literarymen are in the same case. And the more famous they become, the more difficult the press-cutting agency finds it to satisfythem. It is scarcely possible to exaggerate the influence of vanity throughout the range of human life, from the child ofthree to the potentate at whose frown the world trembles. Mankind have even committed the impiety of attributing similardesires to the Deity, whom they imagine avid for continual praise.

But great as is the influence of the motives we have been considering, there is one which outweighs them all. I mean the loveof power. Love of power is closely akin to vanity, but it is not by any means the same thing. What vanity needs for itssatisfaction is glory, and it is easy to have glory without power. The people who enjoy the greatest glory in the UnitedStates are film stars, but they can be put in their place by the Committee for Un-American Activities, which enjoys no glorywhatever. In England, the King has more glory than the Prime Minister, but the Prime Minister has more power than the King.Many people prefer glory to power, but on the whole these people have less effect upon the course of events than those whoprefer power to glory. When Blücher, in 1814, saw Napoleon's palaces, he said, ??Wasn't he a fool to have all this and to gorunning after Moscow.?? Napoleon, who certainly was not destitute of vanity, preferred power when he had to choose. ToBlücher, this choice seemed foolish. Power, like vanity, is insatiable. Nothing short of omnipotence could satisfy itcompletely. And as it is especially the vice of energetic men, the causal efficacy of love of power is out of all proportionto its frequency. It is, indeed, by far the strongest motive in the lives of important men.

Love of power is greatly increased by the experience of power, and this applies to petty power as well as to that ofpotentates. In the happy days before 1914, when well-to-do ladies could acquire a host of servants, their pleasure inexercising power over the domestics steadily increased with age. Similarly, in any autocratic regime, the holders of powerbecome increasingly tyrannical with experience of the delights that power can afford. Since power over human beings is shownin making them do what they would rather not do, the man who is actuated by love of power is more apt to inflict pain than topermit pleasure. If you ask your boss for leave of absence from the office on some legitimate occasion, his love of powerwill derive more satisfaction from a refusal than from a consent. If you require a building permit, the petty officialconcerned will obviously get more pleasure from saying ??No?? than from saying ??Yes??. It is this sort of thing which makesthe love of power such a dangerous motive.

But it has other sides which are more desirable. The pursuit of knowledge is, I think, mainly actuated by love of power. Andso are all advances in scientific technique. In politics, also, a reformer may have just as strong a love of power as adespot. It would be a complete mistake to decry love of power altogether as a motive. Whether you will be led by this motiveto actions which are useful, or to actions which are pernicious, depends upon the social system, and upon your capacities. If your capacities are theoretical or technical, you will contribute to knowledge or technique, and, as a rule, your activitywill be useful. If you are a politician you may be actuated by love of power, but as a rule this motive will join itself onto the desire to see some state of affairs realized which, for some reason, you prefer to the status quo. A great generalmay, like Alcibiades, be quite indifferent as to which side he fights on, but most generals have preferred to fight for theirown country, and have, therefore, had other motives besides love of power. The politician may change sides so frequently asto find himself always in the majority, but most politicians have a preference for one party to the other, and subordinatetheir love of power to this preference. Love of power as nearly pure as possible is to be seen in various different types ofmen. One type is the soldier of fortune, of whom Napoleon is the supreme example. Napoleon had, I think, no ideologicalpreference for France over Corsica, but if he had become Emperor of Corsica he would not have been so great a man as hebecame by pretending to be a Frenchman. Such men, however, are not quite pure examples, since they also derive immensesatisfaction from vanity. The purest type is that of the eminence grise - the power behind the throne that never appears inpublic, and merely hugs itself with the secret thought: ??How little these puppets know who is pulling the strings.?? BaronHolstein, who controlled the foreign policy of the German Empire from 1890 to 1906, illustrates this type to perfection. Helived in a slum; he never appeared in society; he avoided meeting the Emperor, except on one single occasion when theEmperor's importunity could not be resisted; he refused all invitations to Court functions, on the ground that he possessedno court dress. He had acquired secrets which enabled him to blackmail the Chancellor and many of the Kaiser's intimates. Heused the power of blackmail, not to acquire wealth, or fame, or any other obvious advantage, but merely to compel theadoption of the foreign policy he preferred. In the East, similar characters were not very uncommon among eunuchs.

I come now to other motives which, though in a sense less fundamental than those we have been considering, are still ofconsiderable importance. The first of these is love of excitement. Human beings show their superiority to the brutes by theircapacity for boredom, though I have sometimes thought, in examining the apes at the zoo, that they, perhaps, have therudiments of this tiresome emotion. However that may be, experience shows that escape from boredom is one of the reallypowerful desires of almost all human beings. When white men first effect contact with some unspoilt race of savages, theyoffer them all kinds of benefits, from the light of the gospel to pumpkin pie. These, however, much as we may regret it, mostsavages receive with indifference. What they really value among the gifts that we bring to them is intoxicating liquor whichenables them, for the first time in their lives, to have the illusion for a few brief moments that it is better to be alivethan dead. Red Indians, while they were still unaffected by white men, would smoke their pipes, not calmly as we do, butorgiastically, inhaling so deeply that they sank into a faint. And when excitement by means of nicotine failed, a patrioticorator would stir them up to attack a neighbouring tribe, which would give them all the enjoyment that we (according to ourtemperament) derive from a horse race or a General Election. The pleasure of gambling consists almost entirely in excitement.Monsieur Huc describes Chinese traders at the Great Wall in winter, gambling until they have lost all their cash, thenproceeding to lose all their merchandise, and at last gambling away their clothes and going out naked to die of cold. Withcivilized men, as with primitive Red Indian tribes, it is, I think, chiefly love of excitement which makes the populaceapplaud when war breaks out; the emotion is exactly the same as at a football match, although the results are sometimessomewhat more serious.

It is not altogether easy to decide what is the root cause of the love of excitement. I incline to think that our mentalmake-up is adapted to the stage when men lived by hunting. When a man spent a long day with very primitive weapons instalking a deer with the hope of dinner, and when, at the end of the day, he dragged the carcass triumphantly to his cave, hesank down in contented weariness, while his wife dressed and cooked the meat. He was sleepy, and his bones ached, and thesmell of cooking filled every nook and cranny of his consciousness. At last, after eating, he sank into deep sleep. In such alife there was neither time nor energy for boredom. But when he took to agriculture, and made his wife do all the heavy workin the fields, he had time to reflect upon the vanity of human life, to invent mythologies and systems of philosophy, and todream of the life hereafter in which he would perpetually hunt the wild boar of Valhalla. Our mental make-up is suited to alife of very severe physical labor. I used, when I was younger, to take my holidays walking. I would cover twenty-five milesa day, and when the evening came I had no need of anything to keep me from boredom, since the delight of sitting amplysufficed. But modern life cannot be conducted on these physically strenuous principles. A great deal of work is sedentary,and most manual work exercises only a few specialized muscles. When crowds assemble in Trafalgar Square to cheer to the echoan announcement that the government has decided to have them killed, they would not do so if they had all walked twenty-fivemiles that day. This cure for bellicosity is, however, impracticable, and if the human race is to survive - a thing which is,perhaps, undesirable - other means must be found for securing an innocent outlet for the unused physical energy that produceslove of excitement.

This is a matter which has been too little considered, both by moralists and by social reformers. Thesocial reformers are of the opinion that they have more serious things to consider. The moralists, on the other hand, areimmensely impressed with the seriousness of all the permitted outlets of the love of excitement; the seriousness, however, intheir minds, is that of Sin. Dance halls, cinemas, this age of jazz, are all, if we may believe our ears, gateways to Hell,and we should be better employed sitting at home contemplating our sins. I find myself unable to be in entire agreement withthe grave men who utter these warnings. The devil has many forms, some designed to deceive the young, some designed todeceive the old and serious. If it is the devil that tempts the young to enjoy themselves, is it not, perhaps, the samepersonage that persuades the old to condemn their enjoyment? And is not condemnation perhaps merely a form of excitementappropriate to old age? And is it not, perhaps, a drug which - like opium - has to be taken in continually stronger doses toproduce the desired effect? Is it not to be feared that, beginning with the wickedness of the cinema, we should be led stepby step to condemn the opposite political party, dagoes, wops, Asiatics, and, in short, everybody except the fellow membersof our club? And it is from just such condemnations, when widespread, that wars proceed. I have never heard of a war thatproceeded from dance halls.

What is serious about excitement is that so many of its forms are destructive. It is destructive in those who cannot resistexcess in alcohol or gambling. It is destructive when it takes the form of mob violence. And above all it is destructive whenit leads to war. It is so deep a need that it will find harmful outlets of this kind unless innocent outlets are at hand.There are such innocent outlets at present in sport, and in politics so long as it is kept within constitutional bounds. Butthese are not sufficient, especially as the kind of politics that is most exciting is also the kind that does most harm.

Civilized life has grown altogether too tame, and, if it is to be stable, it must provide harmless outlets for the impulseswhich our remote ancestors satisfied in hunting. In Australia, where people are few and rabbits are many, I watched a wholepopulace satisfying the primitive impulse in the primitive manner by the skillful slaughter of many thousands of rabbits. Butin London or New York some other means must be found to gratify primitive impulse. I think every big town should containartificial waterfalls that people could descend in very fragile canoes, and they should contain bathing pools full ofmechanical sharks. Any person found advocating a preventive war should be condemned to two hours a day with these ingeniousmonsters.










但是也有另一些可取的方面。我认为对知识的追求也是出于对权力的迷恋,所有科学技术的改进也是源于此。在政治方面也是如此,一位改革者也能拥有强烈如暴君的对权力的迷恋。反对对权力的迷恋是人们的动机之一是个彻底的错误。你将被这种动机引导成对社会有利的行为,还是有害的行为,取决于这个社会的制度,以及你个人的能力。如果你的能力是理论方面或者是技术方面的,你将会在知识或技术方面做出贡献。通常,你的行为有益于社会。如果你是一个政客,你可能会被对权力的迷恋所驱动,但是通常这种动机会表现在:出于某种原因,你希望看到现有局面按照你的个人喜好而改变。一个伟大的将军,比如亚西比德(三次背叛所属阵营,最后死于波斯总督之手),毫不关心他对阵的是哪方,但是大部分将军都会更倾向于为本国作战。也就是说,在对权力迷恋之外,也还是会有别的动机存在。政客有可能会随时变换阵营,以确保自己属于多数派,但是大部分政客会更倾向于某一个党派,而压制他们对权力的迷恋。几乎纯粹出于恋权的现象在各式人等中都有。其中有一类人,就是军事冒险者,最好的例子就是拿破仑。我想,拿破仑对科西嘉(拿破仑的故国,之前拿破仑一直想带领科西嘉摆脱法国的殖民统治,译者注)和法国不会有什么意识形态上的偏好,但是如果他成了科西嘉的皇帝,他不会有现在那么伟大,尽管为此他必须假冒自己是个法国人。然而,这些人都不是最佳的例子。因为他们也同样得到了极大的虚荣心的满足。最纯粹的出于对权力的迷恋的一类人要属于那些幕后操纵者——那些人躲在王位宝座的背后,从来不公开露面。他们仅仅凭着一个念头就足以慰籍平生:那些木偶对到底是谁在指挥着他们都还不知道呢! 荷尔斯泰因男爵,从1890年到1906年一直控制着德意志帝国的外交政策,他把那种对权力的迷恋表现的淋漓尽致。他居住在贫民窟中,从来没出现在社会上,除了有一次皇帝强求要与他见面,他无法拒绝外,从来不与皇帝见面,他拒绝所有的宫廷活动的邀请,因为他说他没有宫廷礼服。他掌握了可以要挟宫中大臣和皇帝亲友的各种秘密。他利用这些作为要挟,不是为了去获得财富、名声或者任何其他显而易见的好处,而仅仅是强迫大家采纳他的外交政策。在东方,在宦官群体中,这种人物也并不罕见。





2011-02-10 15:15 编辑:kuaileyingyu
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